Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Many Firsts

Well, this is called many firsts for a reason which you'll see at the title screen. It's the first time I was able to get the camera pointed in the forward facing direction. It made for more stable videos that don't make you quite as sick as the other videos. It was great to see what it would be like if I was actually flying the plane from inside. It made things really fun.

This was also the first video that I realized I was flying out so far. On my approaches for my landings, I would fly over the school and come in from the West to the soccer fields as I touched down. Well, it was with this video that I realized I wasn't over the school when I would make my final turn for my landing approach. I was way past the school. So, it helped me realize that I was flying a lot further than I realized and that I needed to keep it in closer.
The other first was my first crash with this plane. Watch and then I'll explain.

Yeah, I crashed hard. I was coming in for my landing because I wanted to make sure I caught it on video. I was obviously a lot farther out that I realized and lost my orientation. I thought I was banking left but it looked like I was going right so I went to correct it. Then I was so low that I lost it behind the school and couldn't see. In desperation, I tried to pull up because I thought I was close to being upside down and throttled it up so I wouldn't stall if I was going up. Well, as you saw, I throttled myself right into someone's roof.
I'm all worried now because I thought my plane was in 100 pieces and I didn't know where it was. I thought I had hit the top of the school and was stuck there or possibly in an open area inside the school so I searched there for about 5 minutes. I couldn't see it so I decided to throttle it up knowing that I would probably ruin my speed control in the process, especially if the propellor was stuck on something.
I hit the throttle and heard it behind me and went looking for it. I thought it might have just hit in a ditch because I heard it hit quite hard. I went looking and started moving the elevons to try and hear it and sure enough, I heard it and found it in the tree you saw in the video.
Now was the scary part. It was about 6:15 a.m. and I had to either jump the fence and grab it or wake someone up to get it. I decided to knock on the door, apologize over and over again, and hope they didn't get mad and decide to keep my plane.
I knocked and some older guy in his late 50's came to the door and it seemed like he had been awake for a little. That didn't surprise me too much because people in Tucson tend to wake up earlier because you can get more done in the morning before it heats up.
I proceeded to tell him what happened and apologized and he said he would go look for it. It took him quite a while to get it so I was worried that there were several pieces that had to be picked up or something but he eventually came back and said he had a hard time finding it since it was in the tree. I thanked him and apologized again and then left.
I went to look at the plane and surprisingly, the nose was a little scraped up and the camera had a few small scratches where it hit the roof but other than that, everything was still in great condition. I wasn't expecting that at all.
Then I got really excited because I might have gotten it all on video. I waited to see it happen and was blown away that it was all recorded. Kendall was surprised that I was so happy even though I had crashed my plane. There wasn't much damage done so I really didn't care. I got great footage so all was good.


Length: 3:44